SINGAPORE – The manager of Ascott Residence Trust (Ascott Reit) on Tuesday (July 30) said it has appointed the Singapore branch of the Australia and New Zealand Banking Group (ANZ) as its independent financial adviser (IFA) for the Reit’s (real estate investment trust) proposed merger with Ascendas Hospitality Trust (A-HTrust).

In a regulatory filing, the manager noted that ANZ will advise the Reit’s trustee, audit committee and its independent directors as to whether the merger is on “normal commercial terms”, and “not prejudicial to the interests of Ascott Reit and its minority unitholders”.

It added that a document containing the advice of the IFA, and the recommendation of the independent directors will be sent to unitholders in due course.

On July 3, Ascott Reit offered to acquire all of A-Htrust’s units via a trust scheme for $1.24 billion in cash and stock. It will pay $61.8 million in cash and the rest in 902.8 million units of the new stapled Ascott Reit and Ascott Business Trust (Ascott Reit-BT).

In other words, each A-HTrust unit will be swapped for 5.43 cents in cash, and 0.7942 new Ascott Reit-BT unit issued at $1.30.

The transaction is subject to unitholders’ approval, and is expected to be completed by the end of this year.